AP continues its facts-challenged coverage of Cuba
If you have to find something nice to say about the Associated Press' coverage of Cuba, it would be that they are impressively consistent in ignoring facts.
Does AP's Havana Bureau Need a New A/C?
Eager to remain in the good graces of the Castro regime's International Press Center (IPC), the AP's Havana bureau has zealously released a "story" advocating for the removal of Cuba from the U.S.'s "state-sponsors of terrorism" list.
The Castro regime has been demanding its removal from the "state-sponsor of terrorism" list for years, which would represent a major unilateral concession from the U.S.
(Background on the jestful title of the post: The Castro regime’s controls on foreign journalists are wielded through its IPC, which not only issues the press accreditation required to report from Cuba, but also approves the necessary paperwork for these journalist to enjoy some basic comforts, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, or being able to import or purchase a car.)
Of course, the AP's piece is full of glaring omissions and oversights.
First, the oversight.
"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry must decide within a few weeks whether to advocate that President Barack Obama should take Cuba off a list of state sponsors of terrorism, a collection of Washington foes that also includes Iran, Syria and Sudan... U.S. officials agree the recommendation, which Kerry must make before the State Department’s annual terror report is published April 30, has become ensnared in the standoff over Gross."
Great story line -- except that the statutory criteria for removing a country from the "state-sponsors of terrorism" list (under Section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act) requires that:
"[T]he President submits to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate—
(B) at least 45 days before the proposed rescission would take effect, a report justifying the rescission and certifying that..."
Thus, the math doesn't appear to be on their side.
Now, the glaring omissions.
"Ostensibly, Cuba has been designated a terror sponsor because it harbors members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group, the Basque militant organization ETA and a handful of U.S. fugitives, many of whom have lived here since the 1970s.... But much has changed in recent years."
Gotta love their use of adverbs.
First of all, it's a fact that Cuba harbors FARC and ETA terrorists.
Moreover, both of these groups continue to be officially-designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) by the U.S. Government.
Thus, nothing has changed.
Also, the are not just a "handful" of U.S. fugitives in Cuba.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there are over 70 American fugitives from justice receiving safe-harbor from the Castro regime in Cuba. These include murderers, kidnappers and hijackers, including the notorious killers of New Jersey and New Mexico State Troopers.
The AP then proceeds to argue that the Castro regime has also "changed":
"Under President Raul Castro, Cuba has freed dozens of dissidents and has begun opening its economy and society, though it remains a one-party political system that permits no legal opposition."
Of course, the AP purposefully omits (for they have the information) that political repression has spiked under Raul Castro, that last year alone there were over 6,600 political arrests and that long-term imprisonments are also on the rise.
Not to mention concerning new nformation regarding the Castro regime's role in the murder of Cuban democracy leader Oswaldo Paya.
But hey, give the AP a break -- it gets really hot in Havana during the summer.